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New Found Glory: “Slam Dunk showcases the strength of our scene”

You may have noticed, Slam Dunk 2016 takes place this weekend. We’re pretty excited – and so are the bands playing, it seems. For New Found Glory, it’ll be their ONLY appearance in the UK this year.

Recent Upset cover stars Panic! At The Disco headline, with a ton of favourites including Young Guns, Moose Blood, Issues, Real Friends, As It Is, ROAM, Gnarwolves and Creeper also putting in appearances.

And we’ve sent a few of ‘em our Slam Dunk-themed Q&A. First up, we interrupted a relaxing weekend for NFG drummer Cyrus Bolooki to chat about the band’s past few years, and what makes the festival such a good one.

You’re playing Slam Dunk Festival here in the UK this May. It’s an event you headlined in 2010 – can you remember playing?
I do remember Slam Dunk 2010, although I think I remember more about seeing friends than the actual show (but that’s not a bad thing; most of our UK shows are insane, and they all sometimes mash into a blur as to which one was which, but I know it was a great show!). I remember that it seemed like everywhere I looked there was another band member from a band that we had toured with, whether it was Alkaline Trio, Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals, Fireworks — you name it — and this year is shaping up to be much of the same with friends of our all over the bill!

How have things changed for the band since you last played?
Well, the obvious change for us is that we’re now a four piece, but that’s actually been a great thing for us in the long run. I think we are all much more united now and closer and stronger bonded now than ever. We’re playing super tight and putting on great shows, and everyone is just enjoying every aspect of being in NFG. Besides that, we’ve also put out a few records and therefore have even MORE songs to choose from when figuring out our setlist!

What is it about Slam Dunk that makes it so important to the UK rock scene, do you think?
I think Slam Dunk has always represented a seemingly “perfect” blend of the scene as it is today… there really is something for everyone, and it definitely showcases the strength of our scene as well. If you look at Slam Dunk throughout the years, you’ll see that it’s grown to be massive compared to where it started, yet has always maintained a respect from all involved, bands and fans alike, never really selling out just for tickets and always sticking to our scene and genre. And I think this organic approach and ideology behind the festival is very similar to what has made so many bands and in fact our entire scene so successful for a long time.

Is there anyone on 2016’s line up that you’re especially looking forward to seeing?
There are plenty, most of whom we’ve had the pleasure of taking out on tour with us! Let’s see, there’s bands like The Starting Line and Set Your Goals that don’t often play so it’ll be super special to see, there’s also things like Yellowcard playing Ocean Avenue all the way through which I will definitely be watching, and then there’s bands like Four Year Strong, Hit The Lights, and Every Time I Die, which we’re all friends with. And, if I can I’ll go try and see Zebrahead because one of my guilty pleasures was definitely their album Playmate of the Year. I hope they play some songs off of that release!

Is there anything you can tell us about your set?
It’ll be what you have come to expect from a NFG show — super high energy throughout, lots of crowd interaction, and maybe some special treats — although the setlist isn’t gonna be easy to pick for this one! Besides we have to put on a good show because there’s so many other great bands playing before, during, and after our set and we want to make sure everyone goes home remembering the amazing New Found Glory show from Slam Dunk 2016!

Finally, what would you say to convince any music fans not yet attending that they should pick up a ticket?
That’s easy… this will be YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO SEE NEW FOUND GLORY IN UK/EUROPE IN 2016! That should have gotten your attention, right? Now, go get a ticket and come celebrate 10 amazing years of Slam Dunk with New Found Glory!

Slam Dunk will take place from 28th – 30th May in Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield. Check out Upset’s playlist here.